UNDP works to ensure that gender equality is factored into all its programmes and projects. By ensuring gender equality, countries can be more effective in reducing poverty and supporting economic progress and development. Societies with strong policies and practices for gender equality have lower rates of malnutrition, illness and other hardships, and are able to benefit fully from the rich, productive human resources provided by women.
Over the past 10 years the international community has made strong commitments to gender equality and empowerment of women at events such as, the World Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995, Beijing plus five Conference and the Millennium Summit in 2000.
Gender mainstreaming means being deliberate in giving visibility and support to women's contributions rather than making the assumption that women will benefit equally from gender-neutral development interventions. Policies and programmes that ignore differential impact on gender groups are often gender-blind and potentially harmful for human development. Gender mainstreaming requires a focus on results to improve the well-being of poor women.
The United Nations’ 2002 Millennium Development Report for Viet Nam clearly indicates that although the general socio-economic well-being of women has increased considerably over the past ten years, significant gender differences are still apparent in most human development dimensions in Viet Nam.
UNDP has made equality one of its core principles, and UNDP Viet Nam strives to place gender concerns at the heart of all its programmes and projects, from formulation to review, to ensure that the needs of both women and men are identified and addressed.